Published: Oct. 18, 2017
  • Full Project Title: Physical Modeling of Buried Explosion in Soils by Geotechnical Centrifuge
  • Summary: Funded by the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURI) program by Office of Naval Research (ONR). Buried explosion is a complex phenomenon, involving high strain-rate soil dynamics, fluid dynamics, fractures, shocks and multi-scale physics. A comprehensive experimental program using geotechnical centrifuge modeling was conducted in conjunction with computational modeling using finite element, boundary element and discrete element and meshless methods to achieve a new level of scientific understanding of the complex multi-phase phenomena. To address the experimental gaps in the current literature, an extensive series of centrifuge tests were conducted to examine the high-rate dynamic soil behavior under explosive loads with parametric variations of the charge size and shape, burial depth, soil type, water content, and g-level with both in-flight and post-detonation measurements. A novel integration of a high-speed imaging system into the centrifuge domain was developed to capture the blast response and allowed detailed characterization of the transient, multiphasic soil blast mechanics including early soil disaggregation and ejecta, gas–particle interactions, shock propagation and soil dome evolution. The blast-induced changes in the in-soil stress, acceleration, as well as the above-ground pressure and acoustic intensity were measured by an extensive suite of miniaturized sensors. Precise crater dimensions and geometry were captured by laser profilometry. The advanced centrifuge scaled modeling studio can be used for detailed parametric experimental investigations as well as physical benchmarks for validation and calibration of computational simulations for soil blast, cratering and many other applications.